Phalangeal Injuries, Hand

Phalangeal Injuries, Hand is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Emergency Consult.

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  • 1/3 of all traumatic injuries affect the hand.
  • Phalanges account for 1 of the most frequently fractured parts of the skeletal system with the distal phalanx being the most commonly fractured bone in the hand.
  • Dorsal displacement of the proximal interphalangeal joint of the finger is the most frequent dislocation.

Pediatric Considerations
Injuries may be more difficult to diagnose in children who are unable to cooperate for a full exam.


  • Trauma (commonly work or sports related)
  • Infectious sequelae:
    • Skin flora: Staphylococcus aureus and Streptococci
    • Cat/dog bites: S. aureus and Pasteurella multocida
    • Human bites: Eikenella
    • Thorns or woody plants puncture: Fungal
    • Fresh/salt water exposure: Mycobacterium marinum and Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Overuse injury (e.g., “gamekeeper's thumb”)

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